Despite an uproar in the Jewish community, former president George W. Bush is still slated to deliver the keynote address to a fundraiser for the Messianic Jewish Bible Institute in Irving, Texas, tonight. The MJBI trains people to persuade Jews to recognize Jesus as their messiah. Followers of the group believe that if enough Jews are converted, Christ will return to Earth.
After Mother Jones broke the news about Bush’s appearance last week, “a small shitstorm…kicked up over the President’s decision,” writes Rob Eshman, editor of the Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles.
“I have yet to meet a Jewish person who hasn’t heard about this,” Tevi Troy, Bush’s White House liaison to the Jewish community from 2003 to 2004, told CNN Wednesday. Troy had high praise for Bush’s support of Israel and the Jewish community, but, he added, “I would be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed.” A spokesman for the Republican Jewish Coalition did not respond to a request for comment.
The Jewish Federation of Greater Dallas, the Jewish Community Relations Council, and the Rabbinic Association of Greater Dallas issued a statement Tuesday expressing their disappointment regarding Bush’s scheduled appearance: “Support of this group is a direct affront to the mutual respect that all mainstream religious groups afford each other to practice the principles of their respective beliefs.”
Not to say “I told you so” but Elena and I have discussed this very issue on several occasions. The undying support of Israel during the last administration wasn’t just about loving people in the State of Israel. It was about Christian prophecy. It’s Christianity a little out of my league as far as concepts like the Second coming of Christ go. Maybe someone will come along and explain it far better than I can do. However, many Christians believe that certain events must be in place for the second coming.
I suppose Bush is a free citizen and can do what he wants. I just don’t see why everyone is so surprised. One group is always trying to evangelize another group. It isn’t limited to just Christians. I belong to the school of live and let live but I think that is a minority school.
Should Jewish groups be outraged? Sure. That’s their right also. Do I think it is tacky to try to convert Jews? Sure. that’s my right.